Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Golden, CO
I haven't run the XX1, but my experience with chains is that usually one level down from the highest spec usually has the best durability. Shimano, SRAM, KMC and Campy all try to shave a few extra grams off the top of the line chain. They all do so with hollow pins and/or cutouts in the links and they all show some reduction in life between 20 and 50%. Fine if you're on a sponsored race team, but not so great if you've got a budget.
I have an XX bike, so I've experienced its 2X10 predecessor. It didn't last long and it took out my XX cassette with it. I wasn't paying close enough attention to the wear. An expensive lesson. I prefer the KMC 10 speed chains and run the ones with the gold titanium nitrite coatings on that bike. I don't like the blinginess of the gold, but I find that they hold the lubrication really well, are very durable and inexpensive.
However, I tried 11 speed KMC and the shape of the outer link clicks in the Ultegra and DuraAce cassettes. They're just a little too bulky. Which is kinda odd because based on what I've found KMC is manufacturing the top Ultegra/XT and DuraAce/XTR chains for Shimano currently. Our 11sp road bikes all run Shimano Ultegra/XT. Unfortunately I don't think they've got a 12 speed compatible chain right now.
04 Rubicon - Bright Silver
Ham radio KB4UGK